Toronto After Dark 2017: Rabbit – Luke Shanahan

The Australian film, Rabbit from writer/director Luke Shanahan has it’s Canadian premiere tonight at Scotiabank Theatre for the Toronto After Dark film festival.

The film, a slow burn character drama that messes with your mind, stars Adelaide Clemens as Maude, an identical twin who believes that her twin, Cleo, who has been missing for over a year, is still alive.

After a collapse she returns home, where she has difficult interactions with her family, and her sister’s finance, Ralph (Alex Russell). Haunted by troubling images seen through her sister’s eyes, Maude goes on a journey into a troubling corner of Australia, where she tumbles down a rabbit hole into a mind-twisting journey into predetermination, fate, and twins.

Encountering Nerida (Veerle Baetens), Maude descends into confusion, worry, and desperation, that heads to a revelation that is both troubling, reassuring, and damning,

The film doesn’t rush, it takes its time, uses music that begins and ends abruptly to jar the viewer and troubling images that requires the viewer to pay attention, to think, to sort.


I found this to be an interesting choice for the Toronto After Dark film festival. It is not as bold as some of the other selections the festival has showcased, and yet, it fits within the established lexicon of everything that has gone before it. It’s unique, troubling, off the beaten path in terms of mainstream cinema, and seeks out the darker corners of the psyche.

Watching Maude try to navigate her way through the mystery that surrounds her, and abides within her, is something, and contrasting it with the troubling images is nicely done… the caravan park is very unnerving, and then the scene shift that follows it gives everyone a huge, what the hell moment.

This one will be generating opinions, some of them no doubt divisive, when it screens this afternoon at 4pm. But instead of taking my word for it, you should get out there, grab a ticket for it, and have a look at it for yourself.

Toronto After Dark continues to showcase genre titles from all over the globe, and this season is shaping up to be a stellar one. Make sure you don’t miss out. Head on down to Scotiabank Theatre (the escalators are working again) and take in some unique films that you may have never heard of, and treat yourself to something amazing.

I’ll see you After Dark!



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